Exactly seven years after Indiana University student Lauren Spierer vanished in 2011, leaving police and her desperate family grasping for answers, her mother said on social media that she greets every morning “hoping today will be the day.”
“Seven years, minutes or seconds is far too long to live without answers,” Charlene Spierer tells PEOPLE in an email.
The vivacious 20-year-old college sophomore from Edgemont, New York, disappeared in the early morning hours of June 3, 2011, in Bloomington, Indiana, after partying with friends who did not intervene as her condition worsened during a night of drinking. She was last seen leaving a friend’s off-campus apartment around 4:30 a.m. to walk home alone.
On the anniversary of when Spierer went missing, her mother posted a note Sunday on the family’s official Facebook page, writing, “Lauren’s disappearance has been and continues to be the most heart-wrenching experience of our lives.”
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Despite possible leads that included the arrest and conviction of a man for killing another Indiana U. student in 2015, Bloomington police tell PEOPLE they have no updates in Spierer’s still-open investigation.
Comparisons were inevitable following the murder of 22-year-old Hannah Wilson, whose body was discovered on April 24, 2015, in a grassy vacant lot about 10 miles from the Bloomington campus. An investigator noted “eerily similar” circumstances between the two cases, among them the fact that Wilson’s friends they last saw her leaving Kilroy’s Sports Bar, the same bar visited by Spierer before Spierer disappeared.
An autopsy revealed that Wilson had been struck three or four times in the back of the head and died from blunt force trauma. Her accused killer, Daniel Messel, 52, was sentenced in 2016 to 80 years in prison.
Messel received another 15-year sentence last April after he pleaded guilty to battery resulting in bodily injury in an unrelated 2012 case involving another 22-year-old Indiana U. student, who told police that he abducted, beat and sexually assaulted her.
Despite the parallels, Spierer’s parents say they were told by members of law enforcement that there was no connection linking those cases to their daughter’s.
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“The last year has been met with several dead ends,” Charlene Spierer tells PEOPLE in her email. “I have learned far too many lessons about the lengths people will go for their own selfish purpose, whether it be to extort money or to take revenge on someone by inserting them as a suspect into our tragic situation.”
“With each possibility, our private investigator tells us not to get ‘too high or too low’ until the lead is followed to the end,” she writes. “It is so difficult however, thinking each time ‘this could be it.’ I feel this roller coaster is something no one would expect until faced with it.”
“The Bloomington police continue to assure us that Lauren’s case remains active, however, I have not seen any progress which takes us any closer to getting to the truth. It is incredulous to me even after all this time that a person can disappear without a trace.”
Still, she thanks those who she said have surrounded the family with “incredible support.”
‘Loving You, Lauren, Every Second of Every Day’
In her separate Facebook post, shared on behalf of herself, Spierer’s dad, Robert, and her sister, Rebecca, Charlene Spierer wrote: “Seven years later we continue our search for Lauren, for truth, for justice.”
She added: “I remember writing a few short months after Lauren’s disappearance that I never thought I would see an October without answers. I never could have imaged we would still be searching for Lauren seven years later. I end this now as I start each morning, hoping today will be the day …”
“Loving you, Lauren, every second of every day.”
Anyone with information about Spierer is asked to contact Bloomington Police at (812) 339-4477 or email [email protected]